There are two types of the check engine light dashboard warning. Either one is flashing on and off or the other one is constantly lit without blinking.
Firstly, this could be dependent on the on-board computer programing. Secondly, the appearance of the check engine light depends on how serious the situation is.
Whereby a flicking one will indicate a serious matter than a non blinking one. This one will require immediate attention and you will need to stop driving before further damage occurs.
Another variation of this is that vehicles show different colors of the check engine light. Some show red, yellow and green warning indicators.
This will also depend with how quickly the matter needs a solution. Whereby the red warning indicator shows that the situation is a serious one.
Common causes of a check engine light.
The cause of a check engine light is programmed into the on-board computer as an OBD-II System code. Each causative issue of the dashboard warning lights has a unique code.
The diagnostics will require an OBD-II Code reader machine. But here are some of the common engine problems that causes of the check engine light;
a] Oxygen sensor.
The oxygen sensor is found in the emissions system and its function is to measure the amount of toxic components in exhaust gas.
Incase there are toxic gases in the exhaust fumes, then there is a problem with the mass airflow and throttle position sensor. Because these sensors affect the way fuel is being burnt in the combustion chamber.
In fact, if any of the engine sensors is faulty, it will trigger the check engine light. Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong within the system.
It could be an indication that something is wrong with the sensors themselves.
b] Spark plug or ignition coils.
Changing the spark plugs is part of regular service in order to keep the car under good maintenance.
The spark plug and ignition coil are part of the internal combustion engine. Their function is to work together to ignite fuel in the ignition chamber.
Further, the spark plug has a central electrode that connects to the ignition coil. The function of the spark plug is to magnify the electric current that flows from the car battery.
Afterwards, this creates a spark required for combustion.
Issues that affect the vehicle’s transmission will usually show up on the dashboard as different types of warning lights. But they also make the check engine light to appear.
The issue could be insufficient transmission fluid. Otherwise, your transmission may be undergoing problems that need a professionals input.
You will need to check the engine for further diagnosis.
d] Loose fuel cap.
If you don’t close the gas cap properly, the fuel will start evaporating. This situation will reduce the vehicle’s gas mileage. That is something the engine control module will detect immediately.
Afterwards, it will generate the check engine light. To ensure that the gas cap is properly closed, ensure that you hear the clicking sound.
e] Faulty wiring.
The vehicle is basically an electronic power generation and utilization utility. Where electric current is involved, you will always find some wiring set-up.
For example, from the battery to the spark plug wiring and the entire ignition system. Further the vehicle electric system also houses a fuse box that controls electric flow.
Incase there is a problem within these components of the electric system, the check engine light will show up.
f] Engine cooling system.
There are vehicles that have a designated temperature warning light. In some occasions, this temperature warning light will show up alongside a check engine llight.
For example, when the engine is about to overheat. The check engine light will show up alongside the engine temperature warning indicator.
If the vehicle overheats, this will be brought about by insufficient engine coolant. Alternatively, the cause could be a dysfunctional component of the engine cooling system.
g] Faulty fuel system.
This has everything to do with the fact that the engine should get proper fuel supply. Engine fuel consumption depends on this. A hindrance to this could be a faulty fuel pump or fuel filter.
Additionally, a faulty sensor could change the way fuel enters the combustion chamber. Therefore, if the engine’s fuel supply is not to the optimum, a check engine light will show up.
h] Engine oil.
The engine oil is very essential for proper operation of the vehicle’s engine. It ensures that the engine has proper lubrication to reduce friction.
Additionally, oil also helps with cleaning engine parts by removing any particles that could accumulate inside. Normally, when there is an leakage, there will be a warning indicator that looks like a kettle.
If you ignore this warning it will cause other problems that affect the engine performance. Hence leading to the check engine light.
The oil leakage is a result of excess oil in the reservoir. Also, neglecting to undertake vehicle maintenance could cause broken oil lines. Hence causing oil leakage.
What does the check engine light mean?
This is the car’s on-board diagnostic system’s way of telling there is a problem requiring your attention.
Computers control major functions of the vehicle’s system. For example, fuel mixture, ignition timing, engine power for acceleration amongst others.
The check engine warning indicator shows that the computer has run into a problem. This is a problem that the computer itself cannot resolve.
In order to perform diagnostics, the computer has a code for each malfunction that it encounters. You will need a code reader for an interpretation of the code’s source.
How to turn off the check engine light.
Turn it off if you have already performed a diagnosis and you’re aware of the source of the problem.
This will require a code reader that offers you the ability to turn off the check engine light. Alternatively, the OBD-II code reader could offer you the ability to reset the warning indicator.
Turning off the check engine light does not resolve the problem. A solution will involve a professional resolving the problem that the code indicated.
If this doesn’t happen immediately, the check engine light will show up again later.